What Does Minting an NFT Mean & How Does It Work?
Have you thought about creating your own NFTs but don’t know how to start? Read our article about minting an NFT to find the answer.
So, you’ve heard the word “NFT” thrown around by your friends, colleagues and that random stranger you sometimes see on the internet. You hear that someone named Beeple sold an NFT for $69 million and that Visa is getting into NFTs. You look into it a bit and think that this new technology sounds like a cool idea. Maybe you want to make your own non-fungible token (NFT). Now the question is, how can you create an NFT without needing to code and what do “mints” have anything to do with it? Look no further because we’ll walk you through the steps and tools needed to create your own NFTs in this article!
What does it mean to mint an NFT?
Minting an NFT is the process of creating an NFT on a blockchain. NFTs are unique digital assets that are verified on a blockchain and cannot be replicated or exchanged for other tokens on a one-to-one basis. Because NFTs are unique and irreplaceable, they’re allowing artists to capture and sell value in digital form for the first time since we all started sharing pictures of cute dogs on the internet. Examples of NFTs can include digital art, collectible items, and in-game assets.
How can you mint an NFT?
At a high level, to mint an NFT, the first step is to create the digital asset that will be represented by the NFT. This can be a piece of digital art, a collectible item, or any other type of digital asset.
Once the digital asset has been created, the next step is to verify it on the blockchain. This involves creating a unique digital signature for the asset, which is used to verify its authenticity and ownership on the blockchain. This step is typically accomplished using a blockchain platform and a smart contract.
Once the digital asset has been verified on the blockchain, it can be minted as an NFT. This involves creating a new NFT on the blockchain and linking it to the digital asset. The NFT is then assigned a unique identifier, which is used to track and manage the NFT on the blockchain.
The final step in the minting process is to make the NFT available for purchase or trade on a marketplace. This typically involves listing the NFT on a marketplace and setting a price for it. Once the NFT has been listed on the marketplace, it can be bought or sold by other users. After minting, you can also transfer your NFT to other users or manage its associated assets using a crypto wallet.
What tools and technologies are used to mint NFTs?
There are a few different tools and technologies that are commonly used to mint NFTs. The first is a blockchain platform, such as Ethereum, which is used to create and verify the NFT on the blockchain.
Next, a smart contract is typically used to manage the minting process. A smart contract is a program that is run on the blockchain and is used to automate the minting process. This includes creating the NFT on the blockchain, linking it to the digital asset, and making it available for purchase or trade on a marketplace.
Finally, a wallet or other blockchain software is typically used to manage the minted NFT. This includes transferring the NFT to other users, viewing its ownership and transaction history, and managing its associated assets.
A step-by-step process to mint an NFT
Decide which blockchain you’d like to mint your NFT on: there are many blockchains available that are popular with artists and creators. These blockchains are the foundation for NFTs, which are digital assets that are added onto this blockchain. Ethereum and Polygon are the main blockchains for minting NFTs, but other blockchains are also used (ex. Solana).
Buy cryptocurrency for the blockchain that you’ve chosen: you’ll need cryptocurrency that’s compatible with the blockchain where you’ll be minting your NFT because you’ll need to pay gas fees as part of the minting process. ETH is the cryptocurrency for the Ethereum blockchain while it’s MATIC for Polygon. You can buy cryptocurrency using a popular cryptocurrency exchange (ex. Coinbase, Binance).
Choose the NFT marketplace that you’d like to use: NFT marketplaces are not only online platforms where users buy and sell NFTs, they also offer free tools to help their users create NFTs. Popular platforms include OpenSea, Rarible and Looksrare. For larger projects where you want to create a large number of NFTs without having to manually create each one, check out the Metacommerce NFT studio.
Connect your wallet to the NFT marketplace: you’ll need to have a crypto wallet that’s compatible with the NFT platform that you’ve chosen. MetaMask is a popular non-custodial crypto wallet that’s compatible with OpenSea, for example.
Mint NFTs using free tools on the NFT marketplace: find and select the “create” option on the NFT marketplace that you’ve chosen. You must have a digital file on your computer that can be uploaded onto the NFT platform. Follow the instructions on-screen to mint your NFT using this digital file as the image. Make sure that you choose a name and also add a description to your NFT before minting, because this can’t be changed or modified afterwards.
- You’ll have to pay gas fees (also known as the transaction fee) for minting your NFT to the blockchain. Depending on the blockchain you’re using, the cost can vary but in general gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain are more expensive than on Polygon. To learn more about gas fees, read our article.
- You can choose to add NFT royalties to the sale of your NFT. Not all NFT marketplaces support NFT royalties and there is an ongoing debate in the community - to learn more about NFT royalties, read our article.
- Keep in mind that you won’t be able to change your NFT after it’s minted. If you want to update your NFT, you’ll have to burn it and then create a new token. To read more about burning NFTs, read our article.
Consider using the lazy minting process to avoid paying gas fees: congested networks can increase the gas prices that you have to pay when minting an NFT. To avoid paying gas fees, lazy minting can be used as an alternative way to create an NFT. This pushes the cost of paying gas fees to the time when the NFT is purchased. This is beneficial because artists won’t have to pay gas fees for NFTs that don’t sell or aren’t sold, which can be a substantial cost if a collection has thousands of NFTs.
- NFT platforms such as OpenSea offer lazy minting for free on the Polygon blockchain.
Congratulations! You’ve now successfully minted your own NFT.
What’s the difference between NFT drops and NFT minting?
NFT drops shouldn’t be confused with minting an NFT. NFT drops are the release of an NFT at a specific time and date, which determine when that NFT will be minted. Most commonly, NFT drops place limits on the number of NFTs that can be minted by one wallet or in one transaction. NFT drops can also be an open edition, which lets people mint as many NFTs as they want within a specific time period. Artists use NFT drops to let their fanbase mint their NFTs on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Participating in an NFT drop can give you the opportunity to buy an NFT at an affordable price. After minting this NFT in an NFT drop, you can list it for sale on an NFT marketplace or store it in your wallet.
NFT drops can be found on social media (ex. Twitter), through Discord channels, on NFT marketplaces and through word-of-mouth. Another great way to find out about NFT drops before they happen is to be on a project’s allowlist - read more in our article. Always remember that you need to do your own research when buying NFTs so you can avoid the scams!
The NFT minting process involves several steps, including creating the digital asset, verifying it on the blockchain, minting the NFT, making it available for purchase or trade, and managing the NFT using a crypto wallet. By following these steps, you can mint your own NFTs without coding and also list your NFTs for sale or trade on a marketplace.